London Fashion Week 2012 showcased designer talent from all around the globe. Famous high-end labels such as Mulberry, Temperley London and Vivienne Westwood Red stormed the London catwalk. This year, homegrown Australian labels Sass and Bide and Willow put on shows even Karl Largerfeld would applaud for. In celebration of these iconic Aussie labels wowing the overseas market, we here at Couturing have put together a feature on Aussies at London 2012 Fashion Week.
Hot off the New York Fashion Week runway earlier in the month, designers Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton of Sass & Bide previewed their Spring/Summer 2013 collection at this year’s London Fashion Week. Sass & Bide have been showing at LFW annually since 2009—perhaps an omen to the nostalgia of the famous Portobello Markets, where they got their start selling customised jeans in the late 1990s. The designer duo set the catwalk alight with a collection full of panel dresses, bedazzled broaches, silver metallics and thigh-high splits. Cloud Nine hairdressing brushed, pinned and primped the models’ hair to create low and disheveled ponytails. To Clarke and Middleton’s relief the show went off without a hitch and was an alluring showcase of romance-meets-grunge.
The second Australian label to show at London Fashion week was Willow with the Spring/Summer 2012 ‘Dream Possession’ collection. Willow first showed at LFW in 2004 and this year marked her return to the international catwalk. Designer Kit Willow created a collection full of pastels, draping soft leather and chiffon statement pieces. Kit stated, that this collection was “about layers of transparency, lingerie and corsetry under chiffon.” To compliment the collection, Tressemé hairdressing created polished and sophisticated hairstyles for the models. Creative director of Tressemé hair Sophie Roberts described the locks as “chic, sleek and free-flowing—perfect for the Willow woman.” Designer Kit is said to be thrilled with the show and has high-hopes for when the collection hits the stores this summer.
Dion Lee debuted his Spring/Summer 2013 collection to fashion’s elite. The highly anticipated show was held in trendy London space The Dairy, as Lee had earlier made the controversial decision to pull out of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia runway show to focus on the international market. The show opened with tailored jackets in white leather and the twenty-five looks went on to show this season’s latest trends; neon, sculpted peplums and panel dresses. Models sported dusty-orange eyeshadow, nude lips and relaxed looking hair. Lee’s futuristic eclectic prints and shapes made his international debut a hit. It was an amazing achievement for a designer who only recently debuted in Australia in 2010 at the Sydney Opera House.
Last but definitely not least, showing for the second time at LFW was London based Aussie label Antipodium. Toowoomba-raised, creative director Geoffrey J. Finch put his Autumn/Winter 2012 contemporary and classic sports luxe collection to the critics. Faux fur accents were worn in stark contrast to PVC bomber-jackets and leather singlets. The collection had an air of British-cool that the label has become synonymous with. Continuing the trend of colourful eyeshadow, Antipodium’s models hit the runway with bold sky-blue eyes and highlighted lips.
Creator and editor of Lifestyled.com.au and former editor of Madison Magazine Australia, Paula Joye spent the last week in London reporting on all of the fashion week mayhem. While in London, Joye had been documenting her trip via Instagram and daily blog updates. She also attended a celebratory dinner to celebrate collaborating with my-wardrobe.com and to shoot the Autumn/Winter 2013 campaign. Looking demure as always, Joye wore a black shell top from Christian Dior, skirt from Miu Miu and shoes from Yves Saint Laurent. The look was accessorised with Yves Saint Laurent bangles, vintage rings and a Topshop clutch.
Representing Team Vogue was newly appointed Fashion Editor Christine Centenera. She was a co-collaborator on Kanye West’s debut line and had previously worked at the prestigious Aussie title, Harpers Bazaar. Centenera attended her friend Dion Lee’s show, wearing an on-trend Dion Lee panel dress from the 2012 Autumn/Winter collection. She also attended the Burberry and Tom Ford runways, but cited Christopher Kane’s collection as her “absolute favourite”. Centenera’s first week in London is documented on the Vogue magazine website.
Australia’s Next Top Model 2011 winner and Harpers Bazaar cover-girl Montana Cox has officially made it big. The young Melburnian had jetted straight from NYFW to London to walk in the Willow and Dion Lee shows. Cox was snapped running around London in-between shows and when asked what her most extravagant purchase was, she replied it was her “Givenchy handbag, it cost two and a half grand, so that is definitely a big purchase!”
There you have it—your ‘Australians taking over London Fashion Week 2012’ roundup. As Australian designers and models continue to take great leaps onto the international runways (let’s hope not literally for the models), we are sure next year’s shows will include even more home-grown talent on both the design and modeling front.